Anchor Chain Rusty - Small Rust Section Of Chain

My anchor chain has been used all of twice in its life of about 9 years. Unfortunately it spent most of its boring life in the dark bilge. Most of the chain was in the anchor locker, and a third of it was pulled aft to the deeper bilge between the two water tanks. There is a 2-3’ section of the chain that was next to the mast step that is very rusty.

A photo:

Was looking at a cleaning method using electrolysis… but not sure if this will work on heavily rusted anchor chain.
Website with a rust cleaning tutorial:

Wondering if anyone has had any experience with chain cleaning and re-galvanizing in just a small area. I see CRC Instant Galvanize on the market, but never tried it. I assume, like most coatings, it works as well as your prep job.

Any thoughts on this?


I’d just cut the rusted section out and join the chain with a high quality, US-made, hammer together C link. They’re just as strong and will last the life of your chain. Emphasis on US-made! I don’t think it’s worth questioning whether that rusted section was degraded; just junk it.

I know Miami Cordage carries quality ones, but I’m sure someone near your neck of the bay will too. Just don’t go to West Marine.

Aaron N.

Hi Ben, Happy New Year!
I agree, that looks like a nasty few feet of chain and I would expect
to find a distressing lot of loss once you chipped or used
electrolytic reduction to clean away the rust. I’d have a look at the
Hamilton Marine catalog – they have a good assortment of high quality
chain shackles and hooks and the like and might have what you need.
The sales staff tends to know the technical details of what’s on their
BTW, regarding electrolytic reduction – it’s a standard technique
used when treating cannon, anchors and a host of other artifacts from
underwater archeological sites. There are many publications, a
Google search would turn up hundreds of good references so no point
into going into more detail here.

s/v Itchen

On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 1:00 PM, BCC Forums wrote: